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Why we do it

The Scouts carry out an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make up our membership. Knowing who our members are helps to better inform and deliver the support and services provided to meet the needs of our members.

The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee for youth members and associated levies at various levels of the movement.

Key dates

  • January: passwords are sent out to members.
  • Friday 14 January: census site opens.
  • Monday 31 January: official census date. 
  • Sunday 20 February: census site closes; all data must have been submitted and approved at all levels up to County.

Getting more help

We are writing a guide for each of the main census return types which will be available in early January, and we have updated our FAQs, but if you need more help, please get in touch with Scout Information Centre by by email on, or you can use Live Chat on our website.

Getting started

If you have never done the census before or want to prepare for it we suggest you look through the return guides below (Available in early January) first. You can also access our FAQs, help for approvers, and other resources on the right hand side.



Regular questions that pop up about the census systems, and why we ask some of the questions that we do.

Read FAQs

Approving the census

Read through our guide for approvers to learn more about approving census returns.

Help for Approvers

Tools to support the census

Read through our return guides, and access all the tools you need to gather the information to complete the census from parents, volunteers and young people.

Download what you need